[ilds] Po-co/poco

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 11 13:40:47 PDT 2007

Writing history is not writing literary criticism.  The former assumes an attempt at objectivity.  The force of po-co and feminist criticism comes from the pain or ire of the aggrieved parties.  They have "standing," as one says in court when making a complaint.  Being a woman you have that standing when arguing as a feminist critic.  When you put on your po-co hat, however, things change.  You can certainly try to put yourself in the shoes of those oppressed by imperialism, but I would view your arguments suspiciously.  And I would think the "oppressed" might have an even more critical view.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Pamela Francis <albigensian at hotmail.com>
>Sent: Jul 11, 2007 12:55 PM
>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] Po-co/poco
>Actually, many, even most of the po-co/poco critics are from formerly 
>colonized regions: Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Said (may he rest in peace), 
>Paul Gilroy, Arjun Appadurai, Benita Parry, Chinua Achebe (who is a critic 
>as well as novelist), Apollo Amoko, Gauri Viswanathan, Ania Loomba, Betty 
>Joseph, the Australians, on and on.  However, I don't feel that you have to 
>be a post-colonial subject to be able to analyze situations, any more than 
>you have to be Turkish to write a history of the Ottoman Empire (Lord 
>Kinross) or be in a war to write about the pros, cons, hows and whys of it.  
>You do not have to be an Other to write about Others (and if you think the 
>hyphen is a problem, discuss the capitalization of the O with 
>psychologists...).  If this is the case, white girls like me wouldn't get to 
>say anything about anything, whereas I think I'm fairly capable in my chosen 
>academic fields.  I could, of course, make the case that as a Southerner, 
>I've been colonized by those nasty carpet baggers from Yankeeland.  But it's 
>not all about me, but the issue or field that I am investigating at the 
>time.  And there are many feminist men, some who are even brave enough to 
>pick up the pen (or get out the keyboard) and write about it (John 
>Stoltenberg and Michael Messner are two). To say only Greeks can write 
>anything significant about Greece would put this list serve in a heck of a 
>situation.  In fact, I think we might all be able to say at some point that 
>distance from an issue can make for more careful analysis.  I will certainly 
>trust an analysis of Vietnam from someone who has taken the time to study 
>all the issues, etc., more than from someone who claims authority just from 
>having been through it.  And I said I wasn't going to say anything else 
>about this...

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